For me this is an album of two halves. Whilst it has a melodic and catchy exterior making it instantly likeable, it hides a darker realism to it that makes this album almost too close to home; This is an album born from recession, in-equality and love in a cruel and cold time. Realistically, this should be an uncomfortable listen, although this is from an American point of view on their economic situation and what it is like to be a youth in this time though is applicable to recent life all over the globe.
First song On Both Eyes is reminiscent of bands like Spunge and Streetlight Manifesto with a melodic and almost indie tinge to the mix, hiding the angst behind a sunny exterior, it just hits you square in the face with harmonies and heart. This theme seems to run throughout the album, possibly showing that it is easy to hide a dark interior with a sunny, perfect exterior.
Second song Don’t Die on Me Now blends seamlessly with prior track has a thoroughly punk vibe that makes people fall in love with Hostage Calm, it spits the hatred with it and has ever changing guitar in it throughout demonstrating different moods and paces, Whilst May Love Prevail incorporates both sleigh bells and a thumping bass that travels straight to your heart and makes it beat in time with the song, think Jinglebell rock if Less Than Jake were allowed to re-write it.
Personal favourite and growing love of mine is song Patriot. Everything about the song is one of a kind and from the bottom of the band’s heart; it has ska-esque guitars, a barber shop quartet style as different people vocalise throughout, a tambourine which really brings out the vocals and intensifies the words being spoken by each member, as a whole unit.
The album can get boring after a while, all the songs seem to blend into one long song all preaching the same message, though lyrically it is a masterpiece of discontent, fury and helplessness behind various musical guises and obvious experimentation with different instruments. It is definitely one of a kind, though too much of the same in one album, it works well, but it is a struggle to stay hooked.